Letters: If only bad habits of some citizens could be dumped

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Interesting to note that city centre streets were the dirtiest in the Capital, earning the lowest score in the latest Cleanliness Index Monitoring System (News, March 14).

The council leaders claim that cold weather could be a contributory factor to the fall in standards due to staff deployment in clearing snow and ice.

We have been fortunate in not having much snow or ice this winter, but the council have to be commended in dealing promptly and efficiently when we did.

However, the filthy streets and anti-social habits of some citizens were evident before icy weather and will probably still be evident after.

I agree with George Ritchie regarding the waste of money to be spent on a failing subway system in Glasgow (Letters, March 15) and sincerely hope that Leith Walk will see an extended tram line to Ocean Terminal in the near future.

Hazel Lightbody, Corstorphine

Cash squandered in tram shambles

I DISAGREE with the reader who feels money targeted to upgrading the Glasgow Subway should be directed towards extending the Edinburgh tram system.

If the system had been properly managed the money spent would have been sufficient for the tram works to end at the Ocean Terminal.

Instead it has been a complete shambles, resulting in legal disputes, and large pay-offs to individuals who could not handle the job, not to mention the great inconvenience to residents in Edinburgh, not forgetting damage to properties. I am sure anyone living in Glasgow would be appalled at this suggestion.

Mrs F Rutherford, Leith

Labour Party tax stance is puzzling

I AM delighted that Labour is making the bedroom tax such a priority (News, March 15). If and when Labour has the power to do so I look forward to it reversing the vindictive policy.

Labour is also quite right to call on the Scottish Government to take all steps within its power to mitigate the effect of the tax.

After all, the people hardest hit by the policy will judge by actions, not words.

This is why I am puzzled about the city council Labour-SNP administration’s reluctance to support the Green budget proposals to put an extra £1 million, along with other measures, into offsetting bedroom tax effects.

Steve Burgess, convener of the Green group of councillors

Show a little faith in fellow Scots

The devolution Chas Dennis praises (letters, March 18) is always at the mercy of Westminster government decisions geared towards London such as the bedroom tax, and cannot transform the Scottish economy without the full financial powers of independence.

Based on this month’s government GERS figures, an independent Scotland would be financially far better placed than the UK and currently spends 38 per cent of its revenues on the welfare state compared to 42 per cent in the UK as a whole, so pensions or pension credits would be more affordable for Scotland than it is for the UK. The SNP government in Scotland has resisted Labour and Tory moves in England to charge students tuition fees or to privatise the NHS.

Mr Dennis also shows very little faith in his fellow Scots to take major decisions like every other country does.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

A thing to declare on UK passports

I WAS surprised at Jim Sillars’ assertion that the passports of young people describe them as “subjects” (News, March 13). This is nonsense.

The explanatory notes in my passport refer to British nationals (six times), British nationality (once), and British nationals overseas (once).

It also refers to British citizens, British citizenship, British overseas citizens and British dependent territories citizens (each once).

Finally, reference is made to the other minor categories, British protected persons and British subjects (each once).

Clearly, it is necessary to differentiate between, say, Gibraltarians or Falkland islanders and the UK.

But 99.9 per cent of passport holders are British citizens, and those immigrants seeking one take a citizenship test.

James Chisholm, Clifford Road, North Berwick